Being in a car accident is scary, but even more frightening is if the at-fault driver leaves the scene. Known as a “hit and run,” these incidents often cause panic. With the at-fault driver nowhere around, it’s not easy to get insurance information to cover your damages and any medical bills.
All hit and run accidents are illegal. Whenever someone’s in a crash, whether they or another individual caused it, all parties must remain on the scene. Otherwise, the individual who leaves could face stiff consequences. Hopefully, you never find yourself in this situation, but if you do, it’s essential to know how to report a hit and run.
What Constitutes a Hit and Run Accident?
Most people think of a hit and run as something severe, but that’s not necessarily the case. For instance, a car hit in a parking lot with the other driver leaving gives you justification to report a hit and run. Even for a car scratched in a parking lot, insurance should pay, just not through your policy.
Someone Hit My Parked Car — Now What?
If you’re lucky, the other driver will stick around to swap insurance information with you. Now, what happens if you’re inside a store when the incident happens? At that point, you need to know how to catch a hit and run driver. While that’s not always easy, there are ways to identify the other party.
Whether or not you see someone hit your vehicle and take off, follow these steps.
Call the Police – Leaving the scene of an accident, even something small like having your car hit in a parking lot, is a crime. First, call 911. Inform the dispatcher of any injuries. If you saw anything, provide as many details as possible. Based on that fact, how busy the police are, and the extent of damage to your vehicle, either an officer will come to the location, or the dispatcher will advise you to head to the local police station to report the hit and run.
Look for Witnesses – Sometimes, people witness accidents. Ask anyone standing around if they saw what happened. If so, get their names and phone numbers to pass on to law enforcement. This will make it easier for the police to track down the individual.
Find Security Cameras – Especially today, a lot of home and business owners have some type of surveillance system in place. Not only that, but many of the stoplights at intersections have cameras. As part of learning how to catch a hit and run driver, don’t overlook the value of these systems. Having video evidence will go a long way in helping you prove what happened.
Consequences of Not Having Insurance
With good insurance, there’s nothing to fear about an accident. Even if a driver doesn’t have coverage, the court will be easier on them compared to them taking off. Without coverage, a driver might only receive a citation. Worst-case scenario, they could lose their driving privileges for a while. On the other hand, leaving the scene of an accident is a felony that could land them in jail.
Some drivers have what’s referred to as “parked car insurance.” This means they don’t have liability, just comprehensive coverage. This insurance is only for individuals with a vehicle they don’t drive, whether in storage or a show car. Unfortunately, the only thing these people care about is the dramatically reduced premiums. So, they drive and hope for the best.
The Bottom Line
Talk with a reputable insurance provider to get the coverage you need at a price you can afford. Also, if you ever face this situation, report the hit and run immediately.
At Freeway Insurance we know that a good car insurance policy is very important for your peace of mind. Protect your self and your family today and get a free car insurance quote online, over the phone, or at one of our offices near you.